Don't Ignore the Market's Hurdles

08/19/2013 1:00 pm EST


Jim Jubak

Founder and Editor,

For the week ahead, I think you need to watch for any evidence that we're moving away from the current compliancy. It's the end of August. Looking ahead, you can see things like the Federal Reserve meeting on September 18, and talking about whether they're going to start to taper down on their purchases of treasuries and mortgage-backed securities. We got rumors, not rumors, full-fledged stories about maybe shutting down the government, not being any budget, not doing a replay of the debt ceiling. You've got the dollar, which is poised to either go weaker, go stronger, reverse course, stay on the course. All that, and yet I don't see any sense of worry in the institutional Wall Street frame. It's like analysts, when you talk to them, and look at the market for a hole, they're talking about the market being up from here. We're already at an all-time high and you're 1700 on the S&P. You know, there seems to be, like, a disjunction. I mean, earnings aren't that great but people are saying there is no problem with evaluations. All these events out there in the real world, people are saying oh, okay, so yeah, that's going to happen, but we're not really worried about share prices.

At some point, what I'm worried about is that worry does indeed replace compliancy. If I were looking for a market going up, I would really like to see a market that was worried about lots of stuff, not one that was feeling oh, it's all okay. If everybody feels it's all okay, and it turns out to be all okay, that doesn't push the market up. You've already got all okay priced in. If everyone thinks it's all okay and you wind up with a couple of bad events, then you wind up taking the market down. I think that's closer to where we are. Not because we're staring at catastrophe, not because the market is radically overvalued, but because right now, we're just simply, complacent about all these events sitting out there, that might have a downward effect on stock prices, and no one seems to be terribly worried about them. Now maybe it's just because it's the end of August and everybody is thinking about going to the beach, or is already at the beach, but if we get into September, if we get past the Labor Day holiday, and this market still feels this complacent, then I would really start to worry.

This is Jim Jubak for the Video Network.

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